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Court says drivers responsible for dodging Oktoberfest drunks

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Photo: DPA
09:17 CEST+02:00
Four days before the world's largest beer festival begins, a German court has ruled that a motorcyclist who collided with a drunken pedestrian during Oktoberfest in 2006 was partly to blame because she should have expected the road to be full of party-goers.

The female biker was driving at a legal speed of between 40 and 50 km per hour (25 and 31 mph) around midnight during the festival three years ago when she hit a man who was crossing the road at a red light during the beer festival.

The Munich court ruled Monday that she "was 50 percent responsible" for the accident at the festival, which attracts millions of revellers every year.

"During the Octoberfest there are, it is well known to the authorities, a large number of drunk people on the streets at night, who can not always be trusted to observe the rules of the road," the court said.

"The motorcyclist should have adjusted her speed to be able to avoid these people," the statement added.

The woman was ordered to pay half of the damages, estimated at €2,500, and her bid for €1,000 compensation for minor injuries sustained in the accident was refused. The man she hit - who was fighting her demand for damages in court - was held responsible for the other half of the money because he was crossing the street illegally.

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Oktoberfest runs form September 19 to October 4 this year.

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